Welcome to my 52 under 52 Flash Fiction challenge. Every Monday for 52 weeks, starting from Sep 16th, 2019, I publish one story of up to 52 words max. On my facebook page, I have asked for inspiration, so every story is based on a word or a partial sentence that someone has suggested. Watch this space!
Freddy’s Verjaardaag Feest
It would have been your birthday, Fred, should I shed tears or raise a glass? Show sadness for the years you lost, give thanks for those you had? I miss your big fat hugs, my friend, I miss your wingnut-grin. That final ride at breakneck speed, it ended in a split -
week 30 - 06/04/2020
If I don’t check, I’ll never know. But if I check, I’ll know too much and can’t erase what I’ve just learned. What if the world has changed last night? What if the world will not? Each answer opens up more questions – a rabbit hole that beckons us, will we go down?
week 28 - 23/03/2020
Oh, honey, no, oh there it is, that sound we hate, it’s coming close! That hollow retching, coughing sound. Oh no, please, God, please not just yet, and not with such horrendous force. Quick, grab him, quick, and get him out, not here,
not in the house!
The furball’s out.
week 27 - 16/03/2020
she left my womb and ran towards the open door been running ever since at lightning speed she dashed through all the doors at school never once paused never drew breath if one door closed she kicked it down if two doors closed she changed direction don’t stop my girl don’t stop
week 26 - 09/03/2020
Just itching to escape this dive, I’ll find another club. We’ll ride the Black Eagle together, friend, we’ll soar towards the flickering and bright. My mama always said aim high. Here’s just the tingle first, and then the prick: Oh yes, and YES and FUCKING SCORE!
We’ll dive and crash alone.
week 25 - 02/03/2020
Clobbered with a pee stick
Arguing in a cold one-bedroom, muffled screams under pillows. Clobbering promotions with a pee stick and two stripes. Mopping up coffee you’ve just spilled in a cold wet country whilst your other half buggered off on holiday to Spain. Mopping up blood in a hot dry country – seems easier than this.
week 24 - 24/02/2020
A glorious day in the forest, foraging in fresh air,
kids, who needs supermarkets?
Try a nibble of this delicious mushroom, we’ll fry that with butter at home. Who finds most berries? Oh, that fluffy ray of light is just so beautiful, come stroke this tree.
Wait, are those badgers playing trumpets?
week 23 - 17/02/2020
The phone rings at 3 am. ‘Please, can you come?’ his mother pleads. We throw on clothes and leave. With tyres screeching for a break, we arrive, minutes later.
‘A spider,’ he exclaims, incredulous. ‘A fucking spider!’
No, my darling, no. It’s that your dad’s no longer here to step on it.
week 22 - 10/02/2020
The troubles of drying laundry in the rainforest
He knew before the trip. He must expose as little skin as possible to bullet ants, poison dart frogs, wandering spiders and
never wear wet clothing, while travelling light.
A sitting duck to jaguars, rattle snakes and anacondas,
he stares at socks and underpants lined up in 88% humidity.
I’ll miss him.
week 21 - 03/02/2020
Hey, little guy. It’s clear you are the troublemaker, just like me, you’ll fit right in. Welcome to your forever home, little doggo. Wait, not there! Eugh, that’s disgusting! No, don’t eat that, that’s not for you. Oh, please please sleep, it’s 3 am! Aw, shucks, alright, you are my bestest boi.
week 20 - 27/01/2020
The girl looked pale, she let out a scream that chilled us to the core. Her mother ran to her attention, searched for the cause, but not a scratch. And then they turned to me, the single stranger,
next to her, alone.
But no one saw – the ice cream on the floor.
week 19 - 20/01/2020
Back to the Darkness
There goes the light. You so enjoyed the brief attention, but useful turns to used. Who needs you now? Too soon it ended, and again, you will be shut away, ignored. You bring a glow to winter chill, but it is time to part. What now, my friend, the pumpkin spice?
week 18 - 13/01/2020
Florence Ellinwood Allen
With heavy heart, she metes out punishment to those committing sins. Her feather of Ma’at seems light, and yet, each line she puts to paper will carry an eternal weight. How can her ponderous mind take flight?
The chair it is.
With both her brothers gone, what right has he to live?
week 17 - 06/01/2020
The lion’s sad, he is wretched, woebegone and glum. He mopes and hangs his head, his mighty mane, once tall and proud, is hanging lower still. The tail is dragging on the ground. What happened here, my friend? There’s ham, I saw, I smelled. But then she went and closed the fridge.
week 29 - 30/03/2020
I am Immigrant, I speak Accent but I love Human. Each word look up in dictionary, then checked as it should be. And by the time I understand, my thoughts and dreams will have been dubbed. With taxes higher than my first years’ salary ought to have been. The future’s perfectly tense.
week 16 - 30/12/2019
The Green Eggs and Ham challenge
The challenge was phrased as follows: "Could you do a Green Eggs and Ham style story, longer story with only 50 words and lots of repetition?" So here are all the words used in Green Eggs and Ham by Dr Seuss, endlessly repeated using the might of MSDOS. So ha!
week 15 - 23/12/2019
The Hotel Lift
Beads of sweat are forming on Lisa’s forehead. All that garlic, not a great choice with IBS. With gas bubbles ramming her sphincter, she moves to the back of the lift. Clench buttocks, think of…rabbits knitting hats, splashing in puddles, folding sheets! Nope, too late.
Oh god, we’re sharing rooms tonight.
week 14 - 16/12/2019
Her double-dealing Judas kiss was quite the revelation. Where fondness for affinities erases lines, it cuts the bonds once shared. She craves his lust, stays blind to her affection. Her loyalty is drug-induced; the honey of her smile ferments.
Keep swaying to that rhythm girl, the floor will be all yours.
week 13 - 09/12/2019
The alternative reality of Hildegard von Bingen
Hildegard von Bingen emerged from a hidden passage in Rupertsberg monastery, enveloped in a heavy, skunky scent. As if in trance, just swaying by her desk, she scratched down symbols, brought forth angelic voices, visions, grasslands touched by dew. The feathers of her mind grew wings,
and yet, where did she go?
week 12 - 02/12/2019
This buccaneer prefers the crow’s nest to the berth, despite a surging storm. With shivering timbers, aye, we will prevail, our skull and bones won’t break! A few weeks more, and yellow fever notwithstanding, the treasure will be ours. “Come on, my girl, it’s time for tea!” “Oh mum, five minutes more!”
week 11 - 25/11/201
Murder at the dinner table
“Clearly a disorganised psychopath,” I say with the authority of two Mindhunter seasons. “He stabbed her, torched her and beat her to death with a fire-extinguisher.” “But what if he WAS organised,” exclaims my son, “with knife, matches and extinguisher neatly lined up?”
Shared dinners are so important for family bonding.
week 10 - 18/11/2019
I’m gawping now: a vulnerable fluff of ego perched upon his head. One gust of wind and there they’d go: virility and self-belief. As tension mounts, I want to take his hand and lead him to the barbers. There. Now that it’s gone, you’ll have to BE strong, not pretend.
week 9 - 11/11/2019
The wise man will be reading from the scroll – and you'll be liberated from the pain of loss and insignificance. Received with zeal, the dragon will be yours, the rhythm of his sway betray his adoration. A great escape, my queen,
the day when you'll inherit
that pet lizard from your aunt.
week 8 - 04/11/2019
The Haggis Crisp
“We are a nation,” said the crisp, “with new peculiar tastes.” “What guff,” the others cried at once, “stick with the status quo!” But in that Haggis crisp we taste rebellion, dreams and hope. Aye, here we are, we want that crisp, and when do we want it? Now!
additional - on 02/11/2019
Weak-kneed, I queue to meet my heroine,
whose Nordic noir can chill you to the core.
I’m neither equal nor adept, yet here she comes.
She takes my book and, with a smile, signs “gangi vel!”
I giggle, lost for words, but certain now that I belong to Bloody Scotland, too.
week 7 - 28/10/2019
Hairy backed men
The massive silverback is close – his giant hand can stroke my skin. With deference, I breathe his scent, he smells of jungle and hot musk. Drenched in testosterone and sweat, I wake with guilt and grasp for just a strand of here and now. Instead, I feel the reassuring warmth of you.
week 6 - 21/10/2019
The Goldblum Trap
Goldblum digs out a ringing phone from a large pile of dung. Kids like Connel find steaming mounds of shit inside their phones: the deaths,
me-toos, environmental doom, sprinkled with food porn pouts. And yet, day after day, they dive right in. Mistaking beatings for connection,
they reek of loneliness and fear.
week 5 - 14/10/2019
Club 27 passed me by, now it’s Club 50 Scotrail card. Grey hair, soft flesh and comfy pants are playing hide and seek, and yet I hear them giggle. Conductor guy exclaims that I don’t look my age, and I am lost for words, offended by my smile. How can I not?
week 4 - 07/10/2019
It’s her birthday, but something is missing. A white hole in her chest, she paints another woman’s face onto her own – it’s not enough. She dresses for her party, rehearses selfie smirks – they look offbeat.
One of these days she’ll find a penny on the ground
and walk right past.
week 3 - 30/09/2019
When talent met imagination, both were still green, but soon their chroma deepened and they were joined by a small splash of pink. In early years, she would turn blue and he burst into red, accusing one another of having crossed the line. Yet, over time, they comfortably mellowed into grey.
week 2 - 23/09/2019
I remember the smell of sanctuary: wood dye vapours, exhaled by panels all around, mellow at first, pungent in the midday heat. Guarded by hedge shears, secateurs and canes, I curled up underneath my blanket wing.
The monsters – lived out there.
week 1 - 16/09/2019
From early youth, the men have dedicated lives to this black beauty. By candlelight they teased her, wooed her, whispered of the lustre of her anthracite, until, at last, they caught a glimpse of all her glory — and took her judd by judd.
And yet, in turn, ignited by their passion, she took their breath, drilled deep beneath their skin. Intoxicating scents remained — for better or for worse.
Ma wife's a belter. Wee bit blootered mebbie,
skirt pure short under cap'n gown, still fits an all.
Creepin' Jesus winkin’ at her.
Auldjins on stage are struttin’ in foosty suits, peely wally wi’ the strain of it.
That's her name now.
‘Da, is that you bawlin'?’
Haud yer wheesht.
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